The Czech Republic got an old new President, Milos Zeman wins his second term as Czech leader with 99.9 percent of votes counted.
The 73-year-old Mr Zeman appeared in front his supporters in Prague and warmly thanked all them for their continuous support. In fact, the new Czech president is constitutionally barred from running for a third term, but today he is happy to hail the result as his “last political victory”.
“There will be no defeat,”
he told his followers.
Zeman’s frequent attacks on Muslim immigration — he described the wave of arrivals in 2015 and 2016 “organised invasion” of Europe, and has claiming that Muslim culture is fundamentally incompatible with European society — have helped him win legions of supporters in the Czech Republic’s villages and small towns. Moreover, Zeman’s support for close relations with China and Russia as well as his attacks on Prague elites and the media have put off many urban and younger voters.
Although the Czech presidency is a largely ceremonial post, the president plays a key role in the formation of new governments — a role which has taken on additional significance as Czech prime minister Andrej Babis struggles to form a government following an inconclusive parliamentary election in October.
President Zeman has already said that he will give Mr Babis — who failed in his first attempt to win a confidence vote earlier this month — a second shot at forming a government, and he reiterated this stance after his victory on Saturday.